Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discriminatory acts at work based on gender. Though passed into law more than 50 years ago, this and other forms of discrimination continue to be a serious problem. However, many people are unsure about what kind of behavior in the workplace truly constitutes sexual harassment. Differing personalities and social backgrounds between co-workers further adds to the trouble.
The New Face of Sexual Harassment at Work
Consider the following scenarios that may be common in many American workplaces: a) An employee shows a meme around the office. Taken separately, the image and caption are both harmless enough, but when combined, clearly offer a sexually suggestive idea. b) A receptionist accepts a social media friend request from a customer who then begins leaving little gifts when stopping by to meet the boss. C) The vast majority of staff is connected through social media, and some have even created private groups in which members communicate inside and outside of work.
In each of these scenarios, the line of acceptable professional behavior becomes blurred. One key factor, social media is reopening doors to what may constitute sexual harassment at work. In some situations, people begin to text one another, send emails, and tweet back and forth. Simple little messages can often contain big misunderstandings. They can also contain big connotations.
Innuendo and subtlety are part of the problem. Surveys taken in 2015 demonstrate how much confusion exists about what exactly constitutes sexual harassment at work. Per one survey, 16 percent of the respondents who said they had not been harassed on the job also reported they had received sexual remarks and jokes. Clearly, many do not understand the issue.
Surveys reveal that one out of three women between the ages of 18 and 34 report they have been the target of unwanted sexual advances by co-workers, employers, and clients. Additionally, 25 percent said they had received lewd text messages or emails. The experiences took place in every field from science to food service, professional to blue-collar.
Sexual Harassment at Work Cuts Across Gender and Supervisory Lines
It should be noted that although sexual harassment is traditionally considered to be an employer-employee matter, this is often not the case. Per the survey, 75 percent of women are harassed by co-workers, nearly half by customers, and 10 percent by co-workers of their same sex.
Also, sexual discrimination in the form of harassment is not unique to women. Men may be harassed as well. Furthermore, it can come from either gender against either gender and need not involve promises of advancement or promotion to qualify as discriminatory.
Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Fight Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination
Proving sexual harassment on the job can be difficult as most harassers are covert in their acts. The Bucks County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. can help. If you believe you are the target of such gender discrimination on the job, get in touch today. You can arrange a free consultation at our Philadelphia office by completing our convenient online form or call 215-569-1999 to speak to a member of our legal team.